29 May 2017

Northland nursery cleared of myrtle rust

4:06 pm on 29 May 2017

The first property found with the plant disease myrtle rust has been cleared to reopen.

The Kerikeri nursery where myrtle rust was detected.

The Ministry for Primary Industries said Kerikeri Plant Production was now safe to reopen. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

The Kerikeri garden centre, which was closed early this month, has been reopened after the destruction and safe removal of all affected plants and treatment with fungicide.

Authorities said plants from the Northland nursery were safe for sale and distribution.

Since early May, more than 20 other properties in Taranaki, Northland and Waikato have been found to have infected plants.

The rust has been found on pōhutukawa, ramarama, eucalyptus and mānuka - but it has not been seen on feijoas yet.

The Ministry for Primary Industries said the number of infected properties currently stood at 25: 20 in Taranaki, three in Northland and two in Waikato.

The affected properties were a mix of plant nurseries, private gardens, retailers/distributors and an orchard.

One of the most recently spotted infections was in an established pōhutukawa hedge belt.

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